Course Schedule

Students typically complete the program in 5 years. Students are expected to attend the Journal Club in the Fall and Spring semesters. Students have the flexibility to tailor the training towards their interests.

The first year is devoted to coursework and research rotations. At the end of the first year, students enter into their mentor’s laboratory and begin their thesis research.

For the second year, coursework is light and comprehensive exams are completed at the end of the year. Students begin their full-time thesis research during their third year of the program.

CHECKLIST

🗹 9 Required Courses (22 credits)

🗹 11 credits of Electives

🗹 3 Rotations

🗹 2 Comprehensive Exams

🗹 Journal Clubs

🗹 Thesis Research

Students have a maximum of seven years to complete the program. Students may request an extension of this period in extraordinary circumstances. Students who apply for and receive advanced standing have a maximum of five years to complete the program.

The following is an example of the PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology course schedule.

Year 1


Summer 1

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 985: Summer Lab Rotation0 (Pass/Fail)
0 Credit

Fall 1

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 501-01: Biochemistry & Cell Sciences (section 01)4
BCHB 503-01: Journal Club (section 01)1 (Pass/Fail)
BCHB 528: Modern Methods (or any approved methods course)3
BCHB 601: Biochemistry, In Depth2
BCHB 986: Fall Lab Rotation 0 (Pass/Fail)
PHAR 599: Applied Statistics (may be taken in Fall 2)2
Elective(s)3
13 or 15 Credits

Spring 1

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 504-01: Journal Club (section 01)1 (Pass/Fail)
BCHB 987: Spring Lab Rotation 0 (Pass/Fail)
CBIO 539: Molecular Cell Biology3
CBIO 562: Molecular Cell, In Depth2
TBIO 562: Survival Skills & Ethics (request permission from Dr. Forcelli)2
Elective(s)4
12 Credits
  • June of Year 1: Taken Qualifying Exam

Year 2


Summer 2

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 999-61: Thesis Research0 (Pass/Fail)
0 Credits

Fall 2

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 503-02: Journal Club (section 02)0 (Pass/Fail)
Elective(s)2
PHAR 599: Applied Statistics (unless already taken in Fall 1)2
BCHB 999-03: Thesis Research
Students with less than 9 credits of coursework, must register for BCHB-999 Section 03 to maintain full-time status.
2 or 4 Credits

Spring 2

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 504-02: Journal Club (section 02)0 (Pass/Fail)
Elective(s)2
PHAR 599: Applied Statistics (unless already taken in Fall 1)2
BCHB 999-03: Thesis Research
Students with less than 9 credits of coursework, must register for BCHB-999 Section 03 to maintain full-time status.
0 (Pass/Fail)
4 Credits
  • April of Year 2: First Data Presentation and Written Comprehensive Exam 

Year 3


Summer 3

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 999-61: Thesis Research0 (Pass/Fail)
0 Credits

Fall 3

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 503-02: Journal Club (section 2)0 (Pass/Fail)
BCHB 999-01: Thesis Research
After Fall 3, you will be automatically registered for Thesis Research (BCHB 999-01) courses.
0 (Pass/Fail)
0 Credit

Spring 3

Course NameCredit(s)
BCHB 504-02: Journal Club (section 2)0 (Pass/Fail)
BCHB 999-01: Thesis Research (automatic registration)0 (Pass/Fail)
0 Credit

Year 4+ until Graduation


  • Full-Time Thesis Research (BCHB 999-01)
  • Students are required to register for Journal Club each semester: Fall: BCHB 503-02 (section 2) and Spring: BCHB 504-02 (section 2)
  • Meeting with the Thesis Committee
  • Completion of Degree
  • Graduation and Commencement